The Elite 8300 series by HP has been around for years now, being a common sight in many offices, schools, and even homes. Offered at a highly affordable price, this Small Form Factor desktop is meant for those on a budget wishing to purchase a work machine with some really decent specs. In this HP Compaq Elite 8300 review, we’ll be giving a detailed overview of the desktop, highlighting its specs, assessing its performance as well as share additional useful information on the device. Please continue reading.
- High level of configuration
- Compact form
- Very affordable
- Great value for money
- Connectivity issues
- No Wi-Fi
- Possible hard drive issues
Already convinced it could be for you? Check out the HP Compaq Elite 8300 here on Amazon.
Design/ Built Quality/ Durability
Servicing the machine is easy thanks to its lockable side case door, which we found to be easy to slide off without any hassle.
Despite the small size, the interior architecture is masterfully organized, although there isn’t plenty of room for further upgrades. You only get one free slot for an additional ram and a slot for connecting a dedicated graphic card.
It is in the built quality that the computer particularly shines in. Living up to its brand’s reputation, the Elite 8300 is an exceptionally reliable piece of hardware. You can expect it to serve you well over the long run without you frequently running into any issues.
While as not significant a criterion in comparison to for laptops, in the realm of durability, the HP Elite 3400 shines tremendously. The tower can withstand some serious abuse before you start seeing any issues with its hardware. Even with a complete lack of maintenance, the PC seems to just plod along without any noticeable impact on its performance.
While the size may be small, it seems to have little impact on performance. HP has managed to pack in a lot into the compact tower, making it into a very capable PC. Its specs are highly configurable, but the most popularly sold version comes with a 3rd generation 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, built-in Intel HD Graphics 2, and 8 GB of RAM.
Taken with this configuration, the PC should be more than able to handle most of your day to day work tasks, particularly if they are web-based or mainly on office tools (e.g., Microsoft Word or Excel). You can expect no issues with opening and running simultaneously multiple applications on the desktop was its specs are likely to be up to the task. Being quad-core, the CPU is well-suited for multi-tasking as well as for working with a dual monitor configuration.
To better handle peak loads, the computer makes use of Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. This allows the CPU cores to automatically run faster than their rated operating frequency provided they’re operating below the power, current, and temperature specification limits. In other words, its performance at times can potentially be actually higher than what its specs may indicate.
With that said, if you are expecting it to handle much more memory heavy applications such as professional video editor, you are better off looking elsewhere. For the price, it is a potent machine but its specs still aren’t enough for the smooth operation of such demanding applications.
Portability (Size and Weight)
Probably the biggest drawback of a desktop computer versus a laptop relates to the former’s lack of portability. While still comparable to that of a laptop’s, the Elite 8300 still ranks miles higher in this department compared to most other desktops currently on the market.
The first thing you’ll notice about this desktop’s design is how compact it actually is. The tower stands at just 4 by 14 by 13.3 inches – small enough to easily fit under the desk or on a small workstation. In regards to weight, the tower’s stands at just 17 lbs. meaning it that carrying it around the office or home from one workstation to another won’t be much of a hassle.
The desktop tower comes with a wired keyboard and mouse included. Unfortunately, both of them are just one level above being pure junk pieces. In contrast to the computer’s superb quality, the Chinese-made keyboard and mouse are simply terrible and prone to defects. They should be immediately discarded for better ones from a reputable brand.
Still, for the sake of this review, we did test out the keyboard. It’s a basic membrane keyboard in a traditional style. Both its body and keys are made from some cheap hard plastic. Typing over the extended period on this keyword can be hard on your fingers, but for shorter sessions, it does seem to be somewhat alright. In our humble opinion, HP would have provided more value by ditching this mouse and keyboard and just offering the tower unbundled instead.
Price is probably the single biggest factor behind the appeal of this computer. At under $200, you will be hard-pressed to find a rig offering better speeds for a similar price. And, even if you do, there is no guarantee that the said computer can match the reliability of an HP desktop tower.
Carrying favorable specs at a super affordable price, this desktop computer brings tremendous value for money and can appeal to a wide range of demographics, from students to medium-sized enterprises.
The tower comes standard with a 500-storage drive, which is decent storage space unless you are utilizing memory-heavy applications, but then again, for such tasks, this PC wasn’t even designed for. Do take note that being an older school Hard Disk Drive (HDD) type, you’ll find that the data access and transfer aren’t as fast as you might have experienced using a Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage.
Still, a PC with HDD storage isn’t as much of an issue in comparison to a laptop featuring one, and you get to have a relatively large amount of storage for minimal price.
While slower compared to a standard SSD, its HDD is still appreciatively fast that you won’t notice issues unless you are transferring some really big files.
Given that HDD drives are more fragile than SSDs, it does become a concern in laptops, but it should be for a PC. Unlike a laptop, you probably won’t be moving the tower around a lot, so there is very little risk of it getting accidentally dropped.
Still, in concluding this section, given the PC’s fairly old hardware, we would recommend you purchase an SSD drive as well to house your Windows software and other essential data.
Ports & Connectivity
The system’s compact size definitely comes at a trade-off. Both an HDMI and eSATA ports seem to be missing, but it does have one display port.
At least when it comes to USB ports, the desktop seems to be quite generous, offering a total of 10 – 4 USB 3.0 and 6 USB 2.0. But, given that one slot might likely be occupied by a wireless network adapter, you practically have 9. Being an older system, it does come with some legacy hardware such as a DVD optical drive as well as a VGA port and a PS/2 port.
Graphics-wise, this PC doesn’t at all fare very well. As mentioned, the Elite 8300 comes with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500, which is, by today’s standards, considered one of the weakest graphic cards currently available.
Don’t expect it to be able to handle any modern AAA title game or any media-based application requiring extensive memory usage, but it certainly handles low-level media creation tasks quiet well. Still, if you want a media-focused desktop, your choice will either be to additionally purchase a discrete graphics card or look for an alternative PC.
What Buyers Say
Many super budget PCs tend to suffer from bad reviews – understandable given that for a computer to have such a low price, it must have come by compromising some part of it. With the HP Compaq Elite 8300, this definitely isn’t the case.
The computer enjoys largely positive reviews from its buyers. People particularly praised its low price and the great money for the value it provided. Its potent performance and small form factor were also noticed and appreciated by many users.
Now to look at common complaints, people were (rightfully) critical of the power supply it features, which does put further constraints on what upgrades you can make to the computer. For instance, a particularly beefy graphic card won’t work well on this PC, given the limited power input. Finally, but unsurprisingly, the cheap mouse and keyword the computer came with was also a major source of criticism.
The Elite 8300 is a fast computer, but it does falter when it comes to graphic-intensive programs. If you are looking for a suitable alternative without having to compromise too much on your budget, then the Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 is our recommendation.
It comes with a third-generation AMD Athlon Silver CPU, which packs in the same performance level as an i5 processor. At 4 GB, its RAM is lower, but it makes up for it with a much better graphic card (AMD Radeon).
In terms of size, the IdeaCentre 3 is even more compact in height and lengthwise but broader in width. While storage space is half that of the Elite’s, it is featured with an SSD drive. One area, however, where the IdeaCentre 3 definitely shines over is in terms of connectivity – both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters are integrated.
For power users looking for a more performance-oriented PC and don’t mind being a bit more generous with their money than this one from Acer’s is a very viable alternative.
Like the Elite 8300, it is an all-purpose built PC housed in a very compact case (albeit slightly bigger than that of the Elite’s). Here you get a far newer generation Intel i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, 2 TB of HDD storage, and 16 GB ‘Optane’ Memory
Optane memory is a form of long-term smart memory that remembers your most frequently accessed files and applications. Thus, when used in conjunction with your RAM, it allows data to load faster and further enhances responsiveness. In addition, unlike the HP Elite 8300, it does feature a built-in WIFI adapter.
Is HP Elite 8300 good for gaming?
In its standard configuration, the Elite 8300 is definitely not meant for gaming. Its integrated graphic card is too weak to run the clear majority of modern games. Having said that, both its CPU and RAM are decent enough, so provided you get a good dedicated graphics card and have altered its power unit, it can become a good budget rig for gaming.
When was HP Elite 8300 released?
By IT standards, the HP Elite 8300 is a fairly ancient system, first being unveiled back in June in 2012. Given the large time frame, it certainly is surprising that how well its spec still fares up even today.
Does HP Compaq Elite 8300 have Wi-Fi?
No version in the Elite 8300 line comes configured with a Wi-Fi adapter. If you want to access your internet wirelessly, you will have to purchase an external USD wireless network adapter.
How do I get into the BIOS on an HP Compaq Elite 8300?
Assessing BIOS on the HP Compaq Elite 8300 is a simple process. Simply follow the steps as stated below.
Step 1: Turn off the PC and wait five seconds.
Step 2: Turn the computer on. Then, keep pressing the Escape (Esc) key until the Startup Menu appears.
Step 3: Press the F10 key to open the BIOS settings.
For both businesses and individuals on a small budget looking for a highly affordable yet reliable PC that will work fine running most tasks, the HP Compaq Elite 8300 doesn’t come as a bad choice. While it may not perform a stellar job in the graphic department, that can be remedied with the purchase of a dedicated graphics card.